Gaozong

▪ emperor of Southern Song dynasty
Wade-Giles romanization  Kao-tsung , personal name (xingming)  Zhao Gou 
born 1107, China
died 1187, China

      temple name (miaohao) of the first emperor of the Nan (Southern) Song dynasty (1127–1279). He fled to South China when the nomadic Juchen tribesmen overran North China and captured Gaozong's father, the abdicated Bei (Northern) Song emperor Huizong (reigned 1100–1125/26), and Gaozong's brother, the emperor Qinzong (1125/26–27). Gaozong reestablished the dynasty in the South with greatly reduced territory in 1127. The Juchen had pursued him, but the great general Yue Fei held off the invaders, who in any case were having difficulty using their cavalry in the rivers and hills of southern and central China.

      The war caused great hardship, and a debate arose within the cabinet over the value of continuing it. The peace faction prevailed, Yue Fei was executed, and in 1141 a peace treaty was signed. In 1162 the war again erupted for a short period. After a new peace treaty was signed in that same year, Gaozong abdicated. Despite its reduced size, the Nan Song became in many ways a wealthier country than the combined Song empire had been.

▪ emperor of Tang dynasty
Wade-Giles romanization  Kao-tsung , personal name (xingming)  Li Zhi 
born 628, Chang'an [now Xi'an, Shaanxi province], China
died 683, Chang'an

      temple name (miaohao) of the third emperor of the Tang dynasty and husband of the empress Wuhou. During his 34-year reign (649–683) he expanded the Tang empire into Korea.

      In 649 Gaozong succeeded his father, the Taizong emperor. He continued his father's foreign campaigns, conquering the Korean peninsula and making Korea a vassal state in 668. In domestic affairs he ended the lavish expenditure on palace construction carried out by his father. But he proved to be a weak ruler and in his later years was dominated by his consort, Wu Zhao (the future empress Wuhou), a former concubine of his father. Gaozong had rescued her from the convent to which she had been sent upon Taizong's death. After Gaozong's death, Wu attempted to rule through puppets until 690, when she usurped the throne herself.

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